Cisco has developed an extensive line of wireless LAN products and technologies designed to enable anywhere, anytime access to information and resources and to facilitate collaboration among employees, associates, vendors, and customers. Cisco's wireless offerings include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of access points, plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller modules and standalone devices. Progent's certified wireless consultants can enable businesses of any size to utilize Cisco wireless products to accommodate the new model of BYOD computing by converging their wired and wireless ecosystems to benefit from easy deployment, predictable performance, single-point control, enterprise-wide policy enforcement, high availability (HA), and across-the-board protection.
Cisco's Unified Wireless solution can expand to up to 18,000 APs with full Layer 3 mobility across central or offsite venues like enterprise headquarters, college auditoriums, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's 802.11x wireless access points and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the identical level of protection, throughput, and manageability for WLANs that companies expect in their wired networks. This technology includes integrated mobility services such as IP voice, high-definition IP video, and secure guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture enables companies to build Wi-Fi ecosystems that streamline the way they work and enhance productivity through a dynamic and collaborative workforce.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants can provide remote or on-premises expertise to help your organization to plan, configure, maintain, expand, and troubleshoot converged wired and wireless network infrastructure of all sizes and for any venue. In addition, Progent can provide affordable remote and on-premises wireless site surveys to assist your company to design and install a Wi-Fi network with custom-designed AP clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building characteristics, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of APs enable businesses to converge wired/wireless networks to deliver the accessibility, capacity, throughput, security and manageability needed to support practically any environment. These access points range from bare bones, single-band 802.11b/g/n units with throughput of 300 Mbps intended for very small companies or telecommuters to 802.11ax access points suitable for handling hundreds of wireless clients on each AP and offering throughput of more than 5 Gb. Cisco's latest selection of wireless access points can be combined or clustered to provide the capacity to support wireless networks crowded with clients and with a high incidence of video-intense applications.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business Series of access points are Linux-based units intended as value-priced wireless solutions for light workloads. Most models in the Cisco Small Business portfolio of APs support Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to set up, control and troubleshoot a cluster of wireless access points from a single device through an intuitive web browser tool. All of the versions include POE and provide Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP detection, and bridge mode for wirelessly connecting to another Ethernet LAN.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wallmount, single-band 2.4GHz unit that can handle 16 802.11n clients, has a Fast Ethernet port, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 wireless clients in a cluster, and can handle sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11n wireless access point able to support 16 active clients per radio for up to 32 wireless clients, features a Gigabit Ethernet LAN interface, and delivers sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not allow clustering. The Cisco WAP150 is an entry-level dual-radio AC/n wireless access point that includes a 1xGE Poe port and can support up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 supports 4 access points per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N AP is a wall-mountable selectable-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11n device that can handle 80 active wireless clients sharing an 8-device cluster. The Cisco WAP321 features a Gigabit Ethernet interface and can deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. Cisco's WAP351 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n wireless access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet interface and can handle 32 wireless clients on each radio for up to 64 clients, and support sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 AP does not support clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 AP that features a 5 x Gb Ethernet switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP361 allows 8 access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio device that supports 802.11n and the latest 802.11ac IEEE standard. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a Gigabit Ethernet port, can support up to 32 wireless clients on each radio, and eight access points per cluster.
The Cisco WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio access point features one Gigabit Ethernet interface and dual concurrent radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that offer 450 Mbps throughput for each radio, can handle 64 clients per radio, and allow up to 16 APs for each cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but features a single radio selectable band. Cisco's Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (the weather-proof outside model) are dual-band Wireless-AC/N APs incorporating two Gb Ethernet interfaces with link aggregation (LAG), and as high as 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps over 11ac and 600 Mbps on 802.11n. Both APs support 32 active WAN clients per radio and 16 wireless access points per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 Wireless Access Point supports the Wi-Fi 5 standard and features 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to deliver 2.8 Gbps data rates at 5 GHz and 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz for a total top data rate of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 includes an integrated 2.5G Ethernet port and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP can handle as many as 200 connective users, up to 50 active users per radio, 16 access points per cluster, and 960 active client users for each cluster.
For details about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business series of wireless access points, refer to Cisco Small Business WiFi APs consulting.
Cisco's Aironet Line of Wireless Access Points
The Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless APs has consistently been the leading AP solution. Aironet access points run the gamut from value-priced entry-level models to advanced APs. Cisco's Aironet line cover several generations of models supporting the evolving 802.11x Wi-Fi specification. Cisco's current portfolio of Aironet APs support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac support, which delivers triple the performance as well as superior distance and density in comparison to the previous generation of APs. The latest dual-band Aironet APs continue to support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices that lack 802.11ac radios.
The oldest Aironet access points are now legacy devices that have reached end-of-life status and are no longer fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the entire Aironet line of APs and can assist you to maintain your current Aironet Wi-Fi system or move cost effectively to current Aironet technology. For more information about Progent's support for current and legacy Aironet wireless access points, see Aironet wireless access points consulting.
Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band indoor APs include budget-friendly devices for general use to advanced units supporting as high as 5.9 Gigabit per second throughput. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP offers next-generation features such as self-configuring plug-and-play deployment, in-depth security, BYOD support, built-in traffic analysis, zero-touch over-the-web updates, and unified cloud-based management for multiple sites. Each Meraki indoor AP also includes two powerful client-serving radios with boosted receive sensitivity plus a separate radio that offers (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor APs are IP67 rated, designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, and able to withstand dust particles, shock and moisture. Meraki outdoor APs include a Gigabit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities that include cloud-based management with network-wide control, 802.1X integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. For details about Progent's consulting services for Meraki access points and cloud management, refer to Cisco's Meraki wireless access points planning and support.
Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 family of Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax APs are designed for deployments ranging from telecommuter homes to high-density enterprise campuses. Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are based on the 802.11ax specification, known as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specification. Unlike 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Important technologies supported by Catalyst 9100 Series access points include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for better dependability, Target Wake Time for conserving power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for better spectrum utilization, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs can run Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller, handle as many as 400 client users per radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9160 Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco access points with the option of being monitored and managed either on-prem via Cisco DNA Center or through the cloud using Meraki management tools. This allows organizations to move to cloud-centric or hybrid management environments at their own pace. All Cisco's Catalyst 916x access points comply with the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E wireless specifications and include support for the 6-GHz band. Each device has 5 radios and supports a maximum of 400 clients on each radio. Each AP model also features a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating wireless interference, comes with a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth Low Energy. Cisco's entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series AP is meant for small organizations, has three 2x2 radios, and includes 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet connectivity. The Catalyst 9164 Series AP is designed for small and mid-size organizations, includes one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. The Catalyst 9166 Series access point is meant for large and medium-sized enterprises, includes three 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also includes environmental sensors to detect air quality, temperature, and moisture. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for Catalyst 9100 Family of Wi-Fi 6/6E Access Points, refer to Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax access points solution planning, deployment, and troubleshooting services.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless controllers help you automate and manage advanced wireless environments that support 802.11ax wireless APs. 802.11ax, popularly known as Wi-Fi 6, improves on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client user density, providing enhanced security, saving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for handling the latest types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers feature high availability with transparent software updates, live fixes, and the ability to connect additional access points without disruption of service. Enhanced security features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and understand infrastructure and client health.
All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs as well as Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax wireless APs. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances system planning, configuration, and management services.
Cisco Wave 2 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers allow fast data exchange, configuration, control, analysis and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and software services. Cisco has developed both physical and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for unified management of WiFi environments, but networks with many Wi-Fi APs are better served by physical wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco offer significant advantages over Wave 1 and earlier models including higher throughput, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in security.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance with a desktop body and designed for smaller organizations. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and remote offices administered across the wide-area network via Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller can handle as many as 150 access points and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet port and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. APs can be attached to the controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers fast failover for APs and clients, which allows uninterrupted availability for applications. As with other Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is designed for midsize to large organizations and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 wireless controller can handle up to 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 clients, offers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and features SSD storage, redundant fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit enclosure, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller offers throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features solid-state storage, backup power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless network controllers reduce the effort and expense needed to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot wireless networks by offering single-point control of critical tasks such as provisioning access points, enforcing single-point policies throughout converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for IP voice and video, monitoring and troubleshooting system health, activating wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service threats, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and can provide standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi LAN controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and create self-healing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Built-in Bonjour Gateways allow discovery and policy throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless controllers allow access point and client stateful failover by permitting a standby high-availability wireless controller to synch with a primary controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the primary wireless controller goes down, thousands of access points and wireless clients can failover immediately to the secondary wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and branch offices. This affordable and scalable module can handle up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 clients. (To find out concerning Progent's remote and on-premises consulting support services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and have a built-in wireless controller with the ability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and support for 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is a plug-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless LAN controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and with support for up to 1000 access points and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Catalyst switches deployment and management services.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop units that streamline the deployment and management of wireless networks for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless network controller supports from five to 75 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained data rates of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for medium-sized to large organizations and campus environments and can support up to 500 access points and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campus environments with the ability to manage up to 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 clients and offering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high amounts of media-rich applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless remote sites from one datacenter, avoiding the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at each remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to build a private cloud to configure, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed to monitor and control Wi-Fi environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to support 6000 APs and 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
For more information about Cisco wireless controllers, see Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco APs, LAN Bridges and Wi-Fi Controllers Supported by Progent
The 802.11ac specification for Wi-Fi largely rendered obsolete all previous releases of Wi-Fi products for environments that support high densities of wireless clients and high usage of HD video applications. Even for organizations who do not currently require the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, a large number of Cisco wireless products have reached end-of-life status, which can present serious maintenance and regulatory compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consulting experts offer remote and onsite support services for a wide array of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can also help organizations to evaluate the business case for upgrading legacy wireless technology and can help in designing and executing cost-effective, non-disruptive migrations. The following are a few of Cisco older-generation Wi-Fi products that Progent's consultants continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Aironet 1000 or 1130AG Series APs are intended for offices and other sites which have minimal environmental variability. These access points include integrated antennas that offer predictable omnidirectional coverage profiles. The 1130G family access point is designed for restricted locations that do not permit 5GHz transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG Series access points are intended for more difficult radio frequency environments such as manufacturing plants or above ceiling structures which often require flexible protruding antennas and ruggedized enclosures. The Cisco 1240G Series access point is designed for regulatory locations that do not permit 802.11a transmission.
Aironet 1500 lightweight outdoor mesh access points offer an economical, scalable, secure outdoor Wi-Fi technology for enterprise campuses and for public sites that need access for portable phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco wireless bridges provide a high-speed and multi-featured technology for connecting numerous LANs in a metro area or public access environment. Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer a versatile, manageable solution that meets the security demands of public networking specialists. These devices support both PTP and point-to-multipoint implementations with good coverage and support for data throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges deliver data rates substantially higher than E1/T1 lines for a fraction of the expense, eliminating the requirement for costly leased lines when linking separate buildings. Because wireless bridges have no periodic charges, the expenses saved on connection bills rapidly cover the initial hardware investment. Self-installed private lines and even leased lines made of metal or fiber-optic cable can require high up-front expenses if they are impeded by barriers like highways, railroads, or lakes and rivers. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges can be deployed rapidly an offer a fast ROI.
Cisco Aironet 1300 outdoor access points/bridges can be deployed as stand-alone wireless access points, wireless bridges, or wireless group bridges. These products have a durable cover and offer fast, cost-effective wireless connectivity between numerous stationary or mobile environments and clients.
Aironet 1400 Series wireless bridges provide high-performance, reliable outside connections for line-of-sight (LOS) applications. They include a ruggedized cover that can withstand harsh outdoor environments and can operate within wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco WLAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless Controllers provide single-point management of WLANs by streamlining the control of common functions including integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF management, zero touch configuration, and full N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless controllers work with lightweight access points to offer superior performance and high-end control functions.
Cisco WLAN Controllers (WLCs) offer the control, scalability, security, and resilience that network managers require to build secure, enterprise-scale wireless environments, from satellite offices to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation WLCs can be configured together to provide support for as many as 2400 access points per roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers provides small-to medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises an affordable way to implement and control secure wireless networks at branch locations. These products manage as many as a dozen Aironet access points and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series IS Routers and 3700 IS Routers. (For information about Progent's remote and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and management consulting.)
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Wireless Technology
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consulting professional to help you to plan, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a converged wired and wireless infrastructure integrating a broad array of wireless products that provide the identical protection, extensibility, and manageability you expect from your wired network. Progent can assist you to manage early-generation Wi-Fi products from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to build protection into your WLAN and your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planners can help you to deploy the HA technology built into Cisco's wireless and wired technologies so your converged infrastructure provides significant return on investment.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you to plan and implement a state-of-the-art wireless network optimized for your environment, offering a Wi-Fi ecosystem that delivers seamless coverage, high speed and capacity, QoS to accommodate IP voice and video, enterprise-class security and compliance, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to reduce time and costs, or on premises to deal with more challenging situations.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration services, visit Progent's Wireless Network Expertise.
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